IM bodybuilder resumes career

IRON MOUNTAIN – Chris Bazan, after a long lay-off, has returned to bodybuilding.

The 1983 Iron Mountain High School graduate just earned his International Federation of Physique Athletes pro card from the North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation after not performing in 10 years.

He previously won Mr. Natural Minnesota in 1998 (heavyweight) and the open overall in the 1997 Nebraska Heartland Classic as well as second in the Natural USA in 1997.

“My son was in sports and I was coaching a lot so I just kept lifting but no shows,” Bazan said of his absence from bodybuilding competitions.

His comeback started in late September with the Badger Classic in Menomonie, Wis. He won the Masters Division (age 40-older).

Four weeks later, Bazan competed in the pro qualifier at Elk River’s Minnesota Northern States Natural. Chalk up another masters title and his pro card.

“It was a pretty special moment and something I worked really hard for,” said Bazan, who resides in Minnesota. “I told Danny Bianco that I want my picture on the wall in his gym (Bianco’s Fitness Center) next to his dad’s picture. Bruce Bianco was the one who inspired us to start lifting in the first place.”